AMA with Special Guest Michael Shackleford

Heather: Hello and welcome to Vegas Aces. Thank you for joining us. Mike, thanks for being here.

Michael: Thanks for having me Heather. Nice to be back on your show.

Heather: Thank you. So did you have to drive through all of the zombies to get here?

Michael: I had my shotgun and blowing them away and having a good time doing it. You gotta do two body shots and then one head shot.

Heather: Oh that explains why I am not getting rid of any of the zombies.

Michael: You gotta shoot them in the brain. But the two body shots slow them down.

Heather: OMG.

Michael: It is actually the same thing for a real human being too.

Heather: It is crazy right now. It feels like we are in a movie. Like seriously it feels like a zombie movie. It’s nuts.

Michael: But without the zombies.

Heather: But without the zombies, exactly! Just nuts.

AMA we are here for you if you have any questions feel free to ask. We will try to answer them. We might not be able to but we will try.

Michael: Welcome!

Heather: If you haven't heard already the state of Nevada has declared a state of emergency and has closed down all non-essential businesses.

Michael: I think it is more like a recommendation that most people are following.

Heather: Yeah.

Michael: But little darlings is still open.

Heather: Really?

Michael: Yes.

Heather: No way.

Michael: Check the website. They are bragging about being the only stripclub open right now.

Heather: I wonder if they are going to get into trouble for that?

Michael: I don’t think that they are breaking a law. I think that the order is more of a recommendation.

Heather: I heard that a brothel is still open too.

Michael: I say shame on them. I think that we all need to do our part in minimizing social contact.

Heather: It is a great excuse to go home and take a vacation and get some sleep. But we should be paid for it. That is the scary part is no one will be paid. That is another thing. I was told by someone that when the casinos here closed, not all of them, but many fired their employees. Well except upper management.

Michael: Someone should like keep track of what each casino is doing in terms of, are they keeping all employees and paying them, keeping and not paying them or firing and not paying the ones that don’t get fired. I think we should patronize the nice ones that are paying their employees throughout this whole thing.

Heather: I think that is a great idea. We actually started collecting information on that.

Michael: I will be sure to patronize and be nicer to the casinos that are doing right by their employees.

Heather: I completely agree.

Michael: And we should say on a future show where each casino stands in the niceness scale.

Heather: I was wondering if I should do a social media post or an actual post on it. I wasn’t sure. We have started collecting the information. We are starting to talk to dealers that we know around town and they are giving us information and access to letters and what not. We are going to post about that.

Heather: Hello Faces and Aces.

Michael: Aces and Faces is a video poker game.

Heather: Faces and Aces is a really cool podcast. Have you ever listened? They are really cool. Check them out.

Michael: Okay.

Heather: If you haven’t check it out.

Michael: What is the jist of their show?

Heather: It is a Las Vegas show. He talks with people who work and live in Las Vegas. He basically wants to hear their stories. He wants to hear their experiences. He wants to hear from all sorts of people around Las Vegas. He has so many amazing interviews.

Michael: I should check that out.

Heather: Wolfgar says he thinks it will last several months. How long do you think it will last?

Michael: I think six weeks.

Heather: I am going to say 3 months.

Michael: Do you want to make a bet?

Heather: No I don’t have any money. Are you kidding me? This is a bad time. No, the reason that I think three months is because in China where it started. They were the first to quarantine. They had strict quarantine laws. It took them three months to get to the point where they don’t have any new cases. They are still going to wait a couple weeks to make sure that they don’t have any cases. If it took them three months I am thinking it will be three months.

Michael: Well I happen to have brought some data that I am going to talk about on my show.

Heather: You brought data?

Michael: Yeah.

Heather: Wait, I want to see data. I thought Data died. Not that data, Star Trek Data! Data!

Michael: I should have.

Heather: It’s okay you are a Star Wars person. I forgive you.

Michael: It’s not that I am a Star Wars person, but I am not as big on Star Trek as you are.

Heather: Baby Yoda doodoo.

Michael: No I hate that song.

Heather: Faces and Aces says. Las Vegas, the people of Vegas and what makes Vegas great. That is a much better slogan and tagline than what I was doing. Yeah check it out.

Oh and our schools are closed indefinitely. I think for the rest of the school year.

Michael: As someone with two kids in the schools, they have closed them through the beginning of spring break. Then there is spring break. I think spring break ends April 22 and that is when schools are supposed to start up but of course they will extend it. They probably will. I wouldn’t be surprised, it is as you said, there is no more school the rest of the academic year.

Heather: Yeah, I think you are right. Same thing for colleges. Your college kid is home.

Michael: Yeah. To be honest I think all of these kids in school are secretly happy.

Heather: I would be too. Are you kidding me?

Michael: They are not showing their happiness to the adults.

Heather: That is because all the adults are freaking out buying toilet paper. Do you have enough toilet paper?

Michael: I just have the normal amount. I think we can go for three weeks or so.

Heather: We don’t have any questions yet.

Michael: I have a question. Is it that I am sick or is my apartment really hot?

Heather: Oh shoot I forgot to turn the air conditioner back on. Opps! It’s good.

Michael: How are you getting through the typical day? We haven’t really had that many typical days. Every day is something different.

Heather: Are you jonesing for a casino now that all of the casinos are closed?

Michael: After my show I am going to go downtown to see what it is like.

Heather: I sorta want to go with you.

Michael: We will talk about that after the show.

Heather: I want to go to the strip to take pictures because it is all boarded up and everything.

Michael: Yeah we should. Let’s talk about it after the show. We could do a podcast there.

Heather: We can take video. Take pictures and show people what it looks like. I saw one picture from the news Channel 8 News. They showed the Bellagio when they were putting up the boards. It looked like they were getting ready for a hurricane. I could show you that picture real quick. Do you want to see it?

Michael: Have you been in a casino this week at all?

Heather: Last Friday. You know how I am doing casino surveys right? I finally got the last seven casinos done on Friday. I was out all day.

Michael: Good timing.

Heather: I know right before they closed. Everyone was acting normal. There were people out playing and I was – you know because it was supposed to be normal. I was out shaking hands and greeting people. I only had one casino manager who refused to shake my hand and looked at me with absolute disgust when I tried to shake his hand. So I did the elbow bump thing and he told me to get out.

Michael: He told me to get out?

Heather: That is a normal thing when I do the casino surveys. I get kicked out all the time.

Michael: Oh so he was mad because you were taking pictures or something?

Heather: No, some of them don’t like when you collect information you know. So they freak out. I am trying to explain to them that it is normal information, like how many games you have, what games you have, what are your min and max, what do you offer, six to five versus three to two. Some of them are cool and they are like oh yeah that is cool go ahead. Others freak out and they are like you are trying to do a heist on us. Like really it’s all normal information. It’s not you know!

Michael: I know how you feel. There is a new game on field trial at the Stratosphere and –

Heather: What is it called?

Michael: It’s called Ricochet Poker.

Heather: Okay, I know that.

Michael: We did the video for that.

Heather: I know that yeah.

Michael: But they changed the rules a little bit since we saw them at the Cutting Edge Show. So I go there and I am playing and as usual – I hate when they do this but the rack card explained the general rules but it didn’t show the pay table on the game. Oh I hate that. So I say do you mind if I copy down the pay table to the dealer? And most of the time the dealers will say go ahead. But she calls over the floorman, and the floorman – I ask the same thing to the floorman. I say, “Do you mind if I write down the pay tables?” And he said no you are not allowed to. You are not allowed to – I don’t know how he phrased it but he said take notes on the casino. I said look, you have these numbers right out in the open. He said that is why we have the rack card. I said, “The rack card doesn’t say the pay table. And he said, “Nope! No writing.”

So what I had to do – there was like four different bets with different pay tables. So I had to go there, memorize four or five numbers, walk away to behind some slot machines recorded them into my memo thing on my cell phone. Go back, memorize some more. Go back and forth like six times. I got the same thing accomplished but it was just inconvenient for me.

Heather: Do you want me to tell you a secret?

Michael: Yes.

Heather: If anyone is giving you crap go back during graveyard.

Michael: People are cooler on graveyard.

Heather: People are awesome on graveyard. They are just so laid back and chill. I love them.

Michael: Yeah. I don’t know why I have always had issues in the Stratosphere. What can I say. The place offers a good value but just every time I go there there is some kind of a conflict.

Heather: Okay should we answer some questions from the viewers?

Michael: Yes. What does the audience have to say?

Heather: Let’s find a question right here.

Q: Is Vegas restricting people from travel? Can you guys work from home?

A: Heather: I don’t think so?

Michael: No.

Heather: I think our airports are still open.

Michael: Oh did you know that some people in our air traffic control tower got the Coronavirus?

Heather: Oh no.

Michael: At least this morning they had it shut down and they had it on reduced capacity on airplanes.

Heather: I did not know that.

Michael: But yeah. Anyone is welcome to come. A lot of the hotels are closed.

Heather: Every hotel is closed. I don’t think there is anything open right now. We were also working from home so nothing has changed.

Michael: Comparatively speaking my life is not that much different.

Heather: I know. Well you have kids at home now, whereas before they were at school.

Michael: Yeah, more kids at home. Certainly no consulting work. I have so much other stuff to catch up on.

Heather: Have you had a lot of cancellations? We have had a few.

Michael: I was kind of in a lull anyway. I have so many emails in my inbox so it’s kind of one thing I would like to do is clean out my inbox and stacks of peppers in my office.

Q: Faces and Aces - When Vegas reopens what changes do you predict?

A: Heather: Excellent question. Do you think there are going to be any changes?

Michael: I think that we are going to be back to normal faster than you think. I think it’s kind of like a curve. Right now we are early in the curve and there is going to be a lot more cases and thing are going to get worse before they get better. Much like China, there will be a leveling off and then they will start to let businesses reopen. Once we contain all the people that have the virus and let it run its course. I am pretty optimistic. Here is my number that everyone is asking, I predict 3,000 casualties in the US. Some think that is a high number and some think its a low number.

Heather: Do you know what America is at the moment?

Michael: I think we are at 100.

Heather: Ok but we are not doing very much testing.

Michael: That is a good issue. I am talking about fatalities.

Heather: If someone dies and there is no testing then they don't know why that person died, that person is not counted.

Michael: I think they would know.

Heather: A lot of people die all the time and they don’t give a shit.

Michael: I think at this time it is very important to know where the hot spots are. So if someone died of mysterious causes I think that the health authorities would really want to know why. You can test for these things after death. If the person was positive then they would have to find out who they were and who they were in contact with.

Heather: Well it will be an interesting few months.

Q: How far back does the tray sit from the back of the table?

A: Heather: Are you talking about this tray? I think he is talking about this tray. You can actually take this tray off. See.

Michael: Like the distance from the actual edge of the table to the hole in the tray is like that (fingers show about three inches).

Heather: This table is very – I take it apart and put it back together a lot.

Michael: She is always changing the cloth on it.

Heather: Yeah. I am. I went to UNLV and we were talking. I was shooting a video over there for one of our new table game inventors. We had to change the table layout because it was a craps table, they were like I am not sure how to change the cloth. I was like oh just give me a screwdriver and a staple gun and I will figure it out. He was like ummm no! Not going to happen. Damn. Anyway, short story.

Q: Casinos aren’t locked, do they have gates up or something like that?

A: Heather: The casinos are locked. I think they are closed and locked. Doors are shut.

Michael: We will find out sure enough but think that they are locking the doors. The big Western United State license plate can show was supposed to be in Vegas this week. It was supposed to run Monday thru today. Of course the show was right when everything was hitting the fan. I was going to go on Wednesday. I asked someone with the show on Tuesday if it was still open and he said it was but then yesterday morning he texted me don’t come, they are throwing us out. This was at the SantaFe Station.

Heather: Oh wow.

Michael: Just FYI. So I bet doors are locked, stuff like that.

Heather: And boarded and everyone is home. Even the grocery stores are wiped out. There is no food or anything.

Michael: I heard that. I went to Costco on Tuesday and it was fine. They were out of like 20 things.

Heather: Did they have toilet paper?

Michael: No.

Heather: Damn.

Michael: Well atleast I don’t think so. I have heard that they are selling toilet paper and paper towels in the back entrance but I didn’t even go there. I don’t need any. I think that it is unpatriotic to hoard. Someone else might need that stuff more than you.

Heather: Yes. I completely agree. But as far as hoarding goes, do you ever go out to fast food and they give you all these napkins?

Michael: Yes.

Heather: Do you ever hoard that?

Michael: Yes.

Heather: Okay, for anybody else who hordes that, dude there is your toilet paper. Just saying.

Michael: That is a good idea. I have the whole top drawer in my kitchen is full of these packs of a napkin and a paper fork and knife.

Heather: Because we just stuff it in there.

Michael: I can’t throw it away, my mother’s voice would be, “There are starving kids in Ethiopia who would love that napkin.”

Heather: Exactly!

Michael: No I just can’t. Too deeply trained from my mother. Hope she doesn’t watch this.

Q: On a 345X table on Craps, how do you figure a don’t pass line flat bed if you know you want to cover a $35 don’t come bet with odds against any future points?

A: Michael: Well.

Heather: That was a hard one.

Michael: I think I need my glasses for this one. I don’t think I understand the question.

Heather: I think he/she is talking about hedging?

Michael: Yeah, let’s skip that one. It will bore the audience.

Heather: If you have a question that we can’t answer, or don’t, they can go to your forum and ask the question. They have amazing people on that forum who always answer questions like this. That would be a good place to get your question answered.

Michael: If you want to try to reword it. But one nice thing about playing 345X odds and betting the don’t side is the odds is always six times the don’t pass bet.

Heather: Oh okay.

Michael: Always six so it’s nice and easy.

Heather: We are going to have tournaments during the coronavirus shutdown.

Michael: That’s cool. How do you coordinate that?

Heather: They are so much fun. So the first seven people that tell me that they want to play, they get to play. They get a set amount, which is usually $1000. And then we play the game just like normal. At the very end of the game whoever has the highest amount as far as chips go, they win a pair of dice which you can see over there.

Michael: That is a great idea.

Hather: They win these dice.

Michael: Which casino are they from?

Heather: They are from Sunset Casino.

Q: What is the difference in house edge between regular craps and crapless craps?

A: Michael: Crapless craps I know is higher. I think crapless craps was around 3% so about one and a half?

Heather: Okay.

Michael: I am not sure off the top of my head.

Heather: Somewhere around there.

Michael: Yep.

Heather: Okay cool.

Q: What are the odds of two back to back ties in baccarat?

A: Michael: The probability of a tie is about 8.5% so the probability – so

Heather: 64 something? Don’t you times it?

Michael: Yeah. So it would be around .65%.

Heather: Okay.

Michael: So less than 1%.

Heather: Cool. Good to know.

Q: Mark says, “I hear the stores are having the chance to finally restock but Utah had an earthquake yesterday and everyone is saying that they went back to instantly being cleared way too quickly.

A: Heather: Man that stinks.

Q: Facesandaces: Can you briefly discuss the upsides and downsides of High Card Flush? It’s a fun game but how bad are the odds?

A: Michael: High Card Flush?

Heather: That is a new one.

Michael: I don’t even know. Is that in my book?

Heather: Not in your book because that is a new one. Do you want to look real quick?

Michael: Well my book is supposed to have the new games.

Heather: Let me get your book.

Michael: On the plus side the strategy is real easy. I think you are supposed to raise with queen-10-8 or higher. I am not sure. The rules are easy. The strategy is easy. I just don’t remember the odds off the top of my head. If someone wants to check my website feel free to answer the question yourself in the comments. I need to start bringing my book every time.

Heather: I can’t find it. I had it out.

Michael: Well hopefully someone in the audience will find it. Tell me the element of risk. That is the important statistic for the value of the game.

Michael: Off the top of my head I think the house edge is around 3%. So for a poker variant it is about average.

Heather: Okay. Cool.

Michael: Should we give tips to the locals for good places to shop?

Heather: I don’t know, do you have any good places to shop?

Michael: I went to Costco on Tuesday and it was great.

Heather: Great. Where?

Michael: The summerlin one at Pavilion center and Charleston. They did have a list of about 20 things that they were out of. Like the normal stuff. It’s in high demand right now, but everything else they had plenty of. There was about a 15 minute line to get in but it was a pleasant line. Once you got in there was plenty of elbow room. They really restrict the number of people in the store at one time. They pulse people in groups. Like I said, it was almost like a normal day except it was less crowded in the store. I think every single register was open, almost no waiting to pay. Whoever is running the Summerlin Costco I think is doing a great job. My compliments there.

Heather: Very cool. The only two grocery stores I know anything about is Winco on Buffalo and Washington. That was packed! There were so many people there it was crazy.

Michael: I think now – I just had a look there –

Heather: Were you able to walk in?

Michael: It was on Monday. Here is my experience. There was a line to get in and they pulsed people forward in groups of 20. I didn’t actually go in because I didn’t want to stand in the line.

Heather: I just drove by. I am like screw that shit.

Michael: The line wasn't that bad.

Heather: I went to Sprouts on Rainbow and Charleston. It was pretty good. It was just a little busier than normal. Half of the stuff was gone. Luckily nobody wants gluten free stuff so all my gluten free stuff was available to me. I was really happy about that. I love fruits and vegetables and there was plenty – well there was about half there. No strawberries. Of course there was no toilet paper or napkins. The Smiths was crazy. There were tons of people and they were frantic.

Q: Three Card Poker, how do the odds compare to Perfect Basic Strategy blackjack when playing three card correctly? Ie. queen-6-4 I believe? Do you recommend about 10 - 20 % of your bet go to the pairs bet?

A: Michael: I recommend none of it go to the pair plus.

Heather: Because it is high isn’t it?

Michael: The house edge on it is 7.3% on the base game under the usual 1-3-6-30-40 – no that is the pair plus, under the usual 1-4-5 Anti bonus I think that has a house edge of 3.37. So yeah the anti is a much better bet. Go as little as possible on the pair plus. I know a lot of people can’t avoid it so –

Heather: Well I mean if you are playing for fun it’s a fun bet.

Michael: Blackjack as a much lower house edge if the blackjack pays 3 to 2.

Heather: Yeah exactly. You can get about half a percent with that. So much lower.

Q: Do you like or would you play doughy don’t strategy with only odds on the right side? Why or why not?

A: Michael: He means the doey-dont.

Heather: What did I say doughy don’t?

Michael: I think so.

Heather: Sorry. I butcher everything.

Michael: Do you know what the doey-dont is?

Heather: No.

Michael: That is betting equally on the pass and the don’t pass. And then betting the odds –

Heather: Aren’t you sorta screwing yourself if you do that?

Michael: Okay well they do that but you only bet the odds on one side. So the way – the rational is the pass and the don’t pass cancel each other out, but they don’t.

Heather: Yeah.

Michael: Because every time a 12th comes up you push one way and lose the other.

Heather: And you are still playing the bet. It doesn’t matter how much you edge, you are still playing that bet and that bet still has a house edge.

Michael: Yeah. And also the doey-dont can also be played where you also make offsetting odds bets. That is usually done to – for just racking up points. Like there is a promotion like get a free buffet if you earn so many points. Let’s say a very low risk way to earn points. So just for the sake of gambling just stick to one side and don’t do the doey-dont and just have fun.

Heather: Okay there you go. That is pretty good advice.

Michael: Thanks.

Heather: Have you ever seen the movie Dead Set it’s on Netflix?

Michael: No.

Heather: OMG. So it’s a Zombie movie. It’s Big Brother. So all these people are playing Big Brother and the zombie apocalypse happens and because they are cut off from the rest of the world. They don’t realize that a zombie apocalypse is happening. It is a really great British show. I think is six episodes total and then they ended it. It is really funny. What made me think of it is the players on Big Brother right now, they were just notified of the Caroniavirus and we are all quarantined. So that is what made me think of it. What is your favorite zombie movie?

Michael: I really like is it Night of the Living Dead? There Is one where some people have isolated themselves in a mall.

Heather: Dawn of the dead I think?

Michael: Yes.

Heather: If I am wrong, correct me, but I think that is it.

Michael: I really like that one.

Heather: Yeah that is a good one.

Michael: I like the 28 Days Later and the 28 Weeks Later. What is the TV show? The Walking Dead?

Heather: The Walking Dead.

Michael: I wasn’t crazy about that.

Heather: I can’t get started with the Walking Dead because I read the comic books and then I watched the TV show and I was pretty upset about it. So I stopped watching the TV show. Have you ever seen Shaw of the Dead?

Michael: No.

Heather: That is so funny. What is your favorite zombie show?

Michael: If forced to pick one I like the 28 movies.

Q: In craps I have been hearing that in some situations you either heal or bridge in odds bet on the don’t pass, but is there any difference in when or why you do one over the other?

A: Michael: Oh boy, a lot of craps questions today.

Heather: So with that one it is a casino policy and procedure. So the casino themselves will be the ones telling the dealers that they want it bridged or healed.

Michael: Are you saying that at some casinos – like if I wanted to make a don’t pass bet – like here is my don’t pass and the odds you heal it like that?

Heather: No.

Michael: Is it even called healing?

Heather- It’s called healing. But it’s like here is your don’t pass, okay, that is your flat bet, and then your odds it would be healed like that.

Michael: Oh yeah. But on a don’t come, there you have to tell the dealer to make the odds bet. They will heal it right?

Heather: It depends again on the policies and procedures, so depending on the casino they might want it healed or bridged. They might just want it straight up like that.

Michael: What does bridge look like?

Heather: That is bridge.

Michael: Is the bet on top? The don’t pass or don’t come?

Heather: That is the thing, so when you are having a don’t come bet, you have a flat bet, people put the odds like so where it’s just straight up. That is so when the dealer pays it the dealer can bridge it.

Michael: Okay.

Heather: Then this would be the amount paid, that would be the original bet, and this would be the flat bet.

Michael: Okay.

Heather: It really depends on the casino too.

Michael: Yeah you are the expert on dealing procedures.

Heather: Okay. It is just so weird hearing that.

Q: Is Mike's channel on YouTube?

A: Heather: Yes theoddsmustbecrazy. Are you having any trouble from YouTube lately?

Michael: No.

Heather: Good. They said that they might be having a lot of problems because of the coronavirus they had to send a lot of people home. So there is less people checking and reviewing videos. So they are saying the algorithm might take down the videos and there won't be anyone there to check it. They suspect that a lot of videos or channels will be taken down during this time because of that.

Mark says, “I have been hearing that it depends on how it pays out, how much you play in relation to the flat bet. So I guess it just depends on who your dealer is.

Heather: Thank you! Awesome.

Heather: Thank you so much for being on.

Michael: My pleasure. Please follow us to my channel and that is going to be an ask me anything also.

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